Through the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, the Leeds City Council rented the Meanwood Park Estate which contained Meanwood Hall, a family home constructed in circa-1762 for Thomas Denison. It was through this act that a new type of institution was established, the 'mental deficiency colony'.
Covering more than one-hundred acres of land, Meanwood Park Hospital became the biggest hospital for the mentally handicapped in the Yorkshire region by 1989.
It was a sanctuary for those who could not find refuge in the outside world and it quickly became a self-contained village, providing education for the children and work for the adults.
Many of the residents at Meanwood Park Hospital were discarded by their families, left to a life of incarceration merely because society looked down on those with an indifference.
Read personal accounts from those who worked and volunteered at Meanwood Park Hospital.
"Lots were independent and to be honest with you, they didn't have the chance to show that" - Chris Gordon
"They were deskilled and became reliant on people and became anxious about society" - George Walker
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